Professional Firework Glossary S-Z

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A loud report (bang) typically created by a salute shell, or a salute rocket. Basically the same as a MAROON.

SET PIECE: A firework that normally goes off on the ground and remains in one place. Example set pieces are wheels, firewriting, waterfalls etc.

SHELL: An effect ejected from a firework typically into the air where it “breaks” into an effect. Ranges in size from small cylindrical shells in cakes and candles to large ball-shaped aerial shells used by professionals. See also AERIAL SHELL.

SPINNER: Normally the name given to an aerial effect than spins rapidly. These are usually silver in colour, and some make a noise or give off coloured stars.

SPIRAL: A professional shell effect that creates a spiral shape in the air.

STAR: A firework effect which is normally a glowing star or flaming ball. It can be in any colour, and may terminate in a report, or break into other effects. The star itself is quiet, so any firework consisting only of “stars” shouldn’t make too much noise.

STROBE: An effect that flickers or flashes, or ground based firework that flashes on and off rapidly, creating an effect like strobe lighting. See also BENGAL BLINKER.

TOURBILLION: Normally a star with an erratic flight which creates a spiralling glitter effect.

W-FIRING CAKE: A cake that fires three columns of effects – one vertical and one either side, to create a three-spoked or “W” shape. Some fan from left to right, or switch between columns as they fire.

WATERFALL: A cascade of normally silver sparks, created by a horizontal string of small fountains strung up between two or more posts. A better effect is achieved the higher it is situated.

WHISTLE: A sound effect like a whistle. Can be created by rockets, shells or from ground based fireworks. The sound is made by the way the ingredient burns, not by the way it flies.

WILLOW EFFECT: Not unlike a “palm tree” effect, in other words an effect that creates a mass of trailing, persistent silvery lines which hang in the air to resemble the hanging pattern of a willow tree.

Z-FIRING FAN CAKE: A fan cake that fires its shots in sequence from left to right or vice versa, rather than in complete simultaneous waves.

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firework |ˈfīrˌwərk|noun

a device containing gunpowder and other combustible chemicals that causes a spectacular explosion when ignited, used typically for display or in celebrations.

( fireworks) a display of fireworks : they were oohing and aahing as if they were watching the fireworks [from Hi-5 fireworks of course]
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